I feel that the storage of energy is the thing holding back both solar and wind generated energy for independent, off the grid use. Everyone seems to accept lead acid batteries for this although they are expensive and not all that environmentally friendly. If one is trying to run a say 25 family village off the grid, on solar energy would you use lead acid batteries for night time power? Or some other type battery like an Edison cell?
I've seen suggestions to store excess energy as heat in vegetable oil and get it back out using Sterling engine generators, but I've seen no practical trials of such. Anyone have thoughts or information on this?